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Phylogenetic and functional affinities between whale-fall, seep and vent chemoautotrophic communities
Smith, C.R.; Baco, A.R. (1998). Phylogenetic and functional affinities between whale-fall, seep and vent chemoautotrophic communities. Cah. Biol. Mar. 39(3-4): 345-346.
In: Cahiers de Biologie Marine. Station Biologique de Roscoff: Paris. ISSN 0007-9723; e-ISSN 2262-3094, more
Also appears in:
(1998). Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vent Biology: Funchal, Madeira, Portugal 20-24 October 1997. Cahiers de Biologie Marine, 39(3-4). Station Biologique de Roscoff: Roscoff. 219-392 pp., more
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  • Smith, C.R.
  • Baco, A.R.

    Chemoautotrophic communities on lipid-rich whale skeletons are known from a total of eight modern sites and eight fossil sites (up to 30 million years old) in the deep Pacific Ocean. We are using natural and experimentally implanted whale skeletons to study community structure, succession, and vent-seep affinities of whale-fall communities in the Northeast Pacific. With ROV's and submersibles, we sampled four lipid-rich whale skeletons at depths of 1000 - 2000 m, separated by distances of 60 - 250 km, along the California slope. We conclude that whale skeletons harbour similar, sulfide-based chemoautotrophic communities throughout the California slope. Some of the dominant whale-fall community components, e.g., Idas washingtonia, appear to specialize on whale falls, while others are found in abundance at vents (e.g., the "gigas/kilmeri vent" vesicomyid) and seeps (Mitrella permodesta). Thus, whale falls apparently have fostered the evolution of a characteristic fauna, while continuing to serve as refugia or stepping stones for generalized sulfophilic species at the deep-sea floor.

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